Ponder this:

Sunday, March 1, 2009

New Anger is Killing Civil Discourse

Image copied from The Other Me

Years ago, a passionate and intelligent dear friend railed against our coworkers who would not express any political opinion; she believed that everybody should have an opinion. It was hard for me then, and it's impossible for me now, to argue against that point. What frustrated me then and still rubs my fur the wrong way, is not that people don't have opinions; it is that some people form opinions based on intentionally limited information and express the results with vitriol.

Peter Wood, in A Bee in the Mouth: Anger in America Now, according to reviews I have read (I had not heard of the book until this morning, although it was published a couple of years ago) describes such expression as New Anger. Stanley Kurtz' review of the book says, "America's New Anger exchanges the modest heroism of Gary Cooper's Sargent York for something much closer to the Incredible Hulk." Another review (sorry, I didn't save the particular link, but it's a common sentiment among the book's reviewers) says that New Anger makes people feel that if they are Angry, they are Important.

I'm tired of New Anger. It wears me out.
I'd be grateful for a little bit of informed and civil Old Anger.

1 comment:

Carolynn Anctil said...

Give me someone with an original thought and I'm much more likely to give it my time and attention, even if I don't agree with their point of view. I think it's mental shorthand and shows a lack of responsibility to simply spout someone elses' opinions and adopt them as your own without first giving them serious scrutiny. Too many people, I think, just want to fit in and be accepted.